Confused: Central Management Server vs Local Server Groups RRS feed

  • Question

  • What is the difference between Central Management Server and Local Server Groups, both features found in SSMS under Registered Servers|Database Engine?  Do they serve the same purpose?  It seems redundant... you can create nested groups, register servers, and run queries against the registered servers under both features.  --Thx
    Monday, October 31, 2011 1:05 AM


  • Hello,

    They have the same end result, which is to hold information to easily access instances. The difference comes with how they are implemented.

    Local Server Groups are stored in a file, locally to your PC. If your PC crached and you lost the files, it would also be lost and you would either have to restore from a backup of the file or add all of your servers in again. If you have multiple DBAs this is a pain and should not be used as there can be differences between each DBA.

    Central Management Server Groups and servers are stored on the central management server which is a sql server instance (2008+). The information is held in the sysmanagement_shared_server_groups_internal and sysmanagement_shared_registered_servers_internal tables in MSDB. In SSMS you point to a CMS (central management server) and the information is populated from these tables. The nice thing is that this keeps multiple SSMS clients synchronized and should anything happen to a DBAs PC they can easily install SSMS and be back in action. Obviously if the instance is lost, you'll have to restore it from a backup whne the server is recovered.

    Hope this helps,

    • Marked as answer by District9 Monday, October 31, 2011 3:43 PM
    Monday, October 31, 2011 3:01 PM